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A 40 Voix

Import, Hybrid SACD

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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40 voix (40 voices) Amazon Music Unlimited
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Audio CD, Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import, February 13, 2007
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Editorial Reviews


This dazzling CD offers huge Renaissance pieces performed by the always spectacular Huelgas Ensemble under Paul van Nevel. The taste for complex polyphony was at its peak in the late 16th century. The Italian composer Alessandro Striggio amazed the civilized world with a motet in 40 parts, driving the Englishman Thomas Tallis to compose one even more complex in the same number of parts to honor Queen Elizabeth. It still hasn't been surpassed in formality and stringent creativity. Other works on this CD are a Gloria by Gomez in 12 parts, a Qui habitat by Desprez in 24 voices, and a lush 16-part work by Giovanni Gabrieli, among others. Van Nevel and his group (and the superb engineers) keep every line clear, with round tone balanced throughout all the vocal ranges, with the long, melodic lines flowing so naturally that the listener never gets lost. The Desprez reminds me of some works by Antoine Brumel, with imitation so close and frequent that the effect is that of a pulsating organism. The CD opens with a 35-voice piece by the contemporary composer Willem Ceuleers (a member of the Huelgas Ensemble, born in 1963), and while its harmonies certainly are not Renaissance, it is in spirit the kind of polyphony on the rest of the CD. Perhaps listening to this 71-minute CD in one sitting would be too rich; it's a feast to be savored. --Robert Levine

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Product details

  • Conductor: Paul Van Nevel
  • Composer: Josquin Desprez, Giovanni Gabrieli, Joao Lourenco Rebelo, Alesandro Striggio, Thomas Tallis, et al.
  • Audio CD (February 13, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Hybrid SACD - DSD, Import
  • ASIN: B000HXDS0E
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,459 in CDs & Vinyl (See Top 100 in CDs & Vinyl)
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October 1, 2013
Format: Audio CD
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December 3, 2009
Format: Audio CD
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August 25, 2007
Format: Audio CD
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